A fire that sprang up in Male's water utility company MWSC has caused water to be cut off to the capital city for over a day now.
Within a few hours of the water pipes running dry, people started queuing up outside shops and stores to buy and stock up on mineral water bottles, and prices for these had shot up exponentially as the crisis continued.
The government set up a task force last night to address this issue as they realised that this crisis was going to be a prolonged one.
They made it possible for people to obtain 5 liter bottles of water if they queued up in the 10 hastily set up distribution centers, which are mostly located in the compounds of the schools of Male'.
MNDF indicate that they had distributed more than 77,000 liters of water from the distribution centers so far.
While they had been giving out one bottle for each national ID card presented, they had to stop at around noon today since they ran out of water bottles which they started distributing at 9:00 this morning.
India, Sri Lanka and the USA have agreed to provide assistance to the Maldives in this time of need, with two Indian military planes landing in INI Airport carrying 22 and 50 tons of water today.
The government is working towards getting the parts destroyed in the fire from Singapore. The fire had obliterated the panel boards needed to run the machinery of the water plant.
MWSC had been letting the pipes run with water for an hour at a time after the disastrous fire incident, with the first starting at 8:00 last night, and the second at 8:00 this morning. Another such hour where water will flow from taps is expected to happen at 6:00 this evening.
Even if this was the case, a large portion of the residents of Male' have had contend with having their taps remain dry. Most of those affected live in the upper floors of taller buildings. Residents have reported that just a trickle was what they could get from the taps located on the ground floor when water was running during the dedicated hours.
Some of the residents of Male' have gone over to the nearby residential islands of Vilimale' and Hulhumale', with their guesthouses and rented accommodations now at capacity.
People have also been accessing the wells of several mosques in Male' to draw from them and stock up on water.
pix by - Ali Shinan
(Channel News Maldives)
Source - cnm.mv